The MaMaMedia Peace Project:
Using the Internet to Build a Peaceful Global Vision among Children
Available to children everywhere, "on demand," 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the World Wide Web has become a place where children can actively and safely ask questions, express themselves, and get information, support and comfort, especially during times of crisis and confusion. As a response to the tragedy of September 11th, and in the distressing context where the big children's TV media players didn't respond well and didn't create media for children who were in need and confusion--the team at MaMaMedia.com created the MaMaMedia Peace Project.
The principal focus of this project was creating an online environment for children, dealing with their shock, anger, hatred, hope and peace, while building together and emphasizing a global vision. Within 48 hours of the 9/11/2001 tragedy, the creators wanted to embrace all children from all countries who came to MaMaMedia.com and wanted to participate, respond to, and communicate about peace during a very troubling time.
The "Headquarters for Peace" on MaMaMedia.com was designed to offer young people tools and activities for expressing their ideas about anger, hope, and peace. Based on existing engines and Internet-software-based programming the team was able to design a spectacular online program rather fast. It is an example of the advantages of media programming through Internet technology vs. TV media. It was designed to make children active and expressive. Children can create and show original artwork about their feelings and about hopeful messages and peace, send e-cards to friends and family, vote in polls on making the world safer; invent t-shirt designs, play games, surf web sites around the globe, and post their thoughts and feelings about international peace. A scrolling online marquee features heartfelt, inspiring words about peace submitted online by young people.
The international response was overwhelming-it is estimated that over 200,000 children contributed to the MaMaMedia Peace Program in its first year. The MaMaMedia Peace Project was awarded the Computerworld 21st Century Achievement Award for Media, Arts and Entertainment in 2002. The Peace Project became a true active community, providing children with a safe, online international space and a creative, constructive way to express their emotions and ideas for global peace.
Here is an example of the numbers that have been generated from the launch of the project in mid-September 2001 through the end of 2001:
- There have been over 1.1 million unique visitors to MaMaMedia.com.
- There have been over 94 million pages served.
- There have been nearly 2 million sessions.
- There have been over 62,000 visitors to the Peace Gallery homepage.
- 160,000 new members joined MaMaMedia.
- About 200,000 existing MaMaMedia members came back to visit.
- 3,600 Peace Gallery creations were submitted.
- 50,000 Kids Say Poll votes were cast.
- 7,300 Mail Byte responses were posted.
Through messages from children, MaMaMedia is aware of how much they appreciate having MaMaMedia programming available to them:
Messages with Peace Gallery Submissions:
ERICAI7, Age 10: I drew this Picture for Peace and Freedom. I think Rasism is just plain STUPID!(Escuse my language) Because it is! I think everyone has their on rights and shouldn't be punished how they are and I am glad that I live in Canada and have freedom!
KRISTINAH734, Age 10: What is Peace And Freedom? It Is One Thing NOBODY Can Take Away. We Have That
JAYHAWK13J, Age 11: My picture is suppose to be about sharing our peace with everyone.All the different colers represent all the moods we're in. God spreads peace no matter what mood your in.
Messages to Help Other Children:
NEVILHEAD, Age 12: I would tell them that there are some people in this world that don't like americans and want to hurt us and make us scared and worried. That they don't like us because they believe that we have a different set of rules then what they do in their country. we get a freedom of speech and those people could get killed if they had a freedom of speech, to disagree with their goverment. not everyone in the world likes each other.
SCHUDER, Age 11: I don't understand why we have wars. They are just an excuse to kill people. America is a great country, we shouldn't spoil our freedom and safety in this great nation just for war. some people think wars are cool, but look at it in the eyes of a soldier, worried that you might never see your family again, fighting for your country.
MANTEO1, Age 9: The earth means alot to me.God created it for everybody.
XUXANDRIA, Age 15: I would like to dedicate to the victims on the act of terrorism at The World Trade Center. I hope the people who died are close to GOD'S heart.
Messages from Parents and Teachers:
Through parents and teachers, MaMaMedia receives email that reflects their appreciation for MaMaMedia's programming and approach:
Selected Parent Message #1: Than[k] You for caring about our kids! God Bless All!!
Selected Parent Message #2: Thank you for informing me [of my child's registration at MaMaMedia.com], I appreciate you doing that, it really tells us parents how people can do such good in this world at a time of tragedy. We really do want you to realize how we are grateful that you care about our kids and you want to start a program that is perfectly safe for our kids to even get on the internet and be able to play and have fun without anything bad happening in the games or any bad words showing up on the screen...Thanks again!